According to one survey, 40 percent of female fast-food workers say they have experienced sexual harassment at work.
McDonald's workers are planning to go on strike at restaurants in 10 cities across the country next week in an effort to get the company to strengthen its policies against sexual harassment in the workplace.
Strike organizers cited the "Me Too" movement and a lack of response from the company to 10 complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in May alleging sexual harassment.
The strike will take place during lunchtime on September 18, at certain locations in Chicago; Durham, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles; Miami; Milwaukee; New Orleans; Orlando; San Francisco; and St. Louis.
In a statement, McDonald's defended its anti-harassment efforts.
It said: 'We have policies, procedures and training in place that are specifically created to prevent sexual harassment at our company and company-owned restaurants, and we firmly believe that our franchisees share this commitment'.
The company also disclosed a new initiative that will engage outside experts to work with the company to help "evolve" those policies and procedures. Some of the experts would come from an employment law training firm and an anti-sexual violence organization. "Whatever policy they have is not effective".
'We see no evidence there's been any change at all, ' she said.
Through the strike, the organizers are demanding improved procedures for dealing with harassment complaints, required anti-harassment training, and the formation of a national committee focused on sexual harassment. Those women include New Orleans's Tanya Harrell, who alleges that her managers teased her but otherwise did nothing about her EEOC complaint, and Kansas City's Kim Lawson, who alleges that her mangers responded insufficiently when she reported sexual harassment. They want leaders of national women's groups, workers, and representatives of the corporation and franchise locations involved. Last March, on International Women's Day, there were broad-based calls for women to stay away from work in several countries, notably in Western Europe.
In 1912, she said, several hundred garment workers at a corset factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, walked off the job in a strike prompted by pervasive sexual harassment, as well as other poor working conditions.